Introduction

The functioning of people with mental retardation (learning disability) is affected by many factors. As well as their intellectual disabilities, their ability to communicate with others, and their social competency also influence their behaviour and adjustment. People with mental retardation may require support to live an independent life. The challenge facing services is to create the environment that will provide them with the best quality of life whilst maximizing developmental opportunities.

This chapter focuses on the development and provision of services for people with mental retardation who have additional psychiatric and behavioural disorders. Several developments have taken place in the United States and the United Kingdom. Reference to other countries is made where peer-reviewed accounts have been available.

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